Young unemployed in Cambridgeshire take part in national campaign to get into work

Business News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Business News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter

Greenvale will offer skills training to help tackle youth unemployment in Cambridgeshire as part of a nationwide initiative by the entire food and grocery industry.

Youngsters from the Cambridgeshire area will have the opportunity to gain the skills they need to get back into work when they visit Greenvale’s site at Floods Ferry Road, March on September 25 – 26 September as part of a nationwide campaign to tackle youth unemployment.

Following the success of a pilot project in 2012, the entire food and grocery industry has launched Feeding Britain’s Future – Skills for Work Month 2013 and is helping youngsters across Cambridgeshire to gain the skills they need to get into work.

Feeding Britain’s Future, led by research charity IGD, is the first initiative of its kind, giving young people access to farms, factories and stores, and firsthand knowledge of the skills needed for a career in the food industry or elsewhere.

Last year 70 businesses participated, in 700 locations covering every region in the UK. The campaign provided 10,000 training opportunities with 98% of participants saying they felt more confident applying for a job.

This year the campaign already has over 100 companies signed up and plans to offer more than 12,000 opportunities for young unemployed people across 1,000 locations nationwide.

Youngsters from Cambridgeshire will have CV and interview sessions with HR Managers from Greenvale to help them develop their employability skills and improve their chances of getting a job.

As well as workshops to improve their soft skills, all participants will have the chance to understand what goes on in a potato packhouse, how the business is run and the wide range of careers available working at Greenvale, the UK’s leading supplier of fresh potatoes.

Jurgita Zitkeviciene, Senior HR Officer for Greenvale said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to help the younger generation back into work and offer tips and advice on what is required from prospective employees when applying for vacancies. In addition, it gives us an opportunity to show that Greenvale is not just about packing potatoes - we have many supporting functions that require other skills and expertise without which we would not be able to fulfil our customers’ needs.”

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “The UK food and grocery industry employs 3.7 million people, providing one in seven jobs - making us Britain’s biggest private sector employer. With that scale comes responsibility - we have a vital role to play in tackling youth unemployment by sharing our advice and experience. Feeding Britain’s Future is bringing the industry together to share the rules of the game with young people. We hope those from in and around Cambridgeshire will make the most of this opportunity to develop their skills and grow their confidence.”

Greenvale handles 600,000 tonnes of potatoes every year operating from three state of the art packaging facilities strategically located across the UK, including Cambridgeshire. As a business, Greenvale aspires to deliver high quality potatoes day in day out to its customers who include leading retailers Sainsbury’s and Tesco and key food manufacturers Birds Eye, McCain, Young’s and Bakkavör. It is one of the few fully integrated potato businesses in the UK, from breeding and growing potatoes through to packaging, distribution and marketing for the retail, wholesale and food service sectors, with a specialist food ingredients division, Swancote Foods.

Greenvale AP is a significant grower of potatoes in its own right, growing 70,000 tonnes of potatoes through its own growing programme where it employs cutting edge growing techniques. It also boasts the largest and most geographically diverse grower based in the UK.

For more information about Greenvale, visit www.greenvale.co.uk.